WeAreTheCity is collaborating with Visa, a world leader in digital payments, to launch of the Visa Everywhere Pioneer 20. The list will shine a spotlight on 20 trailblazing refugee women living in Europe, who excel in their respective fields and have a meaningful impact in their new communities. Nominations will open on 03 July and close on 11 August.  We are inviting individuals, NGOs, charities and partners who work with refugee women to cast their nominations (with the approval from the individuals themselves).

We are seeking nominations of incredible women and role models, who are giving back and supporting their communities in the most challenging of circumstances.

The Visa Everywhere Pioneer 20 will celebrate the achievements of these incredible role models and share their stories to inspire others. We do hope you will nominate women who are supporting their communities in the most challenging of circumstances and help us to shine a light on Europe’s female refugee community.


Nominations are now closed


  • Open to all women aged 18 and above.
  • The individual must identify currently as a refugee * or at some point identified as a refugee.
  • Any charity, NGO or Foundation operating in Europe can nominate an individual.
  • Any public sector or private sector entity that have an active program supporting refugees can nominate an individual.
  • The individual must reside in Europe. **

* Refugee definition – A person who has been granted official refugee status as a result of a Refugee Status Determination (RSD). For more information on RSDs, please see the website of the UNHCR, The UN Refugee Agency, here

Alternatively a citizen of Ukraine who does not have a refugee status, is legally staying in Poland on the basis of the provisions of the Act of March 12, 2022

 ** Europe definition – European Union member states and Switzerland, Norway, Turkey, Iceland, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and the UK.

  • We want to acknowledge and celebrate women who are making significant contributions to society, uplifting these incredibly resilient individuals and providing hope and role models to the refugee community

    Katherine Brown
    Head of Inclusive Impact and Sustainability, Europe at Visa
  • WeAreTheCity are delighted to partner with Visa and introduce the new Visa Everywhere Pioneer 20. This is a fantastic opportunity to shine a spotlight on these incredible women, and recognise their resillience and contributions to their communities.

    Vanessa Vallely OBE
    Founder of WeAreTheCity
  • Business Fights Poverty are hugely proud to support the launch of the Visa Everywhere Pioneer20 in partnership with WeAreTheCity.  This is the first list of its kind to recognise female refugees and their incredible contributions to their communities. We are excited to partner with both organisations and look forward to the nominations opening on the 3rd of July

    Zahid Torres-Rahman
    Co-Founder & CEO at Business Fights Poverty


  • Nominations open 03 July
  • Nominations close 11 August
  • Judging day 18 August
  • Winners announced 06 September

Meet the judges


Judging Chair
Vanessa Vallely OBE
Founder of WeAreTheCity

Michelle Gethers
Chief Diversity Officer & Head of Corporate Responsibility at Visa

Zahid Torres-Rahman
Co-Founder & CEO at Business Fights Poverty

Alphonsine Kabagabo
Director at Women for Refugee Women

Salma Zulfiqar (BEM)
Founder/Director of ARTconnects

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